“I CHOOSE RICH EVERY FUCKING TIME.”

WOWSTHE WOLF OF WALL STREET (2013)
5 out of 5 stars

WATCH IT BECAUSE…
1) Leonardo DiCaprio is fucking awesome! Give the man an Oscar already!
2) The word “fuck” is used 506 time throughout the movie.
3) We love watching filthy rich people waste money on sex, drugs and excess. We laugh at them yet we secretly want to be them.
4) Did I say Leonardo DiCaprio is fucking awesome?!

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THE MOST HOPEFUL MAN

greatgatsby-1THE GREAT GATSBY (2013)
4 out of 5 stars

Based on the novel by F. Scott Fitzgerald, it follows the life of Jay Gatsby (Leonardo DiCaprio) and his neighbour, Nick Carraway (Tobey McGuire) who recounts his encounter with Gatsby during his time in New York in the 1920’s. There is mystery surrounding Jay Gatsby, the businessman who holds extravagant parties yet no one seems to know anything concrete about him. But one thing is clear to Carraway; Gatsby is in love with his cousin, Daisy Buchanan, whom he met in the past. However, she is now married. What follows is the doomed romance of Jay and Daisy, which could only seem to be wishful thinking on their part.

Like any Baz Luhrmann production, music plays a big part in the movies and audiences were treated to the likes of Lana del Rey, Florence and the Machine, Fergie and Jay-Z. It makes you feel like you’re at Gatsby’s parties.

I felt really sad after the movie ended. I’m not sure if Gatsby was really hopeful or deluded. Perhaps I’m too cynical for my own good but if I agreed with Carraway, I’m sure I’m not the only one who feels the same way. Or maybe I’m just not that into doomed romances anymore (that should be a good thing, right?).

I didn’t know Callan McAuliffe was in the movie as young Gatsby, or young Leo! What a striking resemblance! And I didn’t recognize Adelaide Clemens (Parade’s End) in the movie at all! I blame it on the eye makeup.

Jay Gatsby: I knew it was a great mistake for a man like me to fall in love…

greatgatsby-2

THE D IS SILENT

djangounchainedDJANGO UNCHAINED (2012)
4 and a half out of 5 stars

Jamie Foxx plays Django, a freed slave who travels with bounty hunter, Dr. King Schultz (Christoph Waltz) to free his wife, Broomhilda (Kerry Washington) from a cruel plantation owner (Leonardo DiCaprio).

Since it opened last December in the USA, Singaporeans waited three months before it showed on the big screen and it is spectacular. Bloody mess, check. Humour, check. Badassery, check. What’s not to like?

Speaking about humour, the scene involving the KKK and their cut-out masks was really funny. There they were trying to be all macho and white supremacist, but they were all complaining about a mask they were too lazy to cut their own eye holes. To me, the most disturbing scene was the Mandingo fighting scene. That was really unbearable compared to the shootout and bloodshed towards the end of the movie. Got to see Walton Goggins as the villain and oh, he does not end well. Leonardo DiCaprio was menacingly good as the plantation owner, Calvin Candie. Did you know he continued acting the dinner table scene even though his hand was bleeding after smashing into glass? That cut was used in the movie and that blood you see on Broomhilda’s face – it is Leo’s real blood. RESPECT for him and please, he deserves an Oscar ASAP!

Dr. King Schultz: How do you like the bounty hunting business?
Django: Kill white people and get paid for it? What’s not to like?

EVEN GREAT MEN CAN BE CORRUPTED

J. EDGAR (2011)
– 4 out of 5 stars

Leonardo DiCaprio plays the lead, J. Edgar Hoover, in this biopic about the FBI director, how he rose to power and his personal, allegedly closeted life.

OMG. Leo and Armie! First of all, I have got to say that the makeup team that was responsible for Leo’s, Armie Hammer’s and Naomi Watts’ ageing were really good. I mean, even the whites in their eyes looked yellow and possibly filled with cataracts. And it was much more creepier seeing Armie Hammer old because he was balding much more than the old Leo.

The most prominent case on this movie is the Lindberg kidnapping and it told of how Hoover kept track of the serial numbers on the ransom money, hired experts on handwriting and wood – evidence from the case that would lead him to the kidnapper that went scotfree for two years. Seeing as how this takes place in the early 1900s, it was like CSI for the early ages.

Leo’s acting was powerful and convincing as usual, too bad he wasn’t nominated for an Oscar. There were quite a number of familiar faces too – Ed Westwick (!), Josh Lucas and Jeffrey Donovan (Burn Notice).

HANGING IN LIMBO

INCEPTION (2010)
– 5 out of 5 stars

Well, I guess the most talked-about film this summer is Inception. It’s not a sequel, not a reboot and it’s probably one of the most original films to come out for a long time.

Dom Cobb: What’s the most resilient parasite? An idea. A single idea from the human mind can build cities. An idea can transform the world and rewrite all the rules. Which is why I have to steal it.

Inception revolves around Dom Cobb (Leonardo DiCaprio), who specializes in the art of the extraction of ideas from people while in their dreams. The nature of his job puts him in a position against the law and he has a chance to right his wrongs with a “final job” that requires him to plant an idea in another’s mind via his subconscious – a very complex operation and it’s the complete opposite of what he does. Cobb gathers his team – a point man a.k.a. a right-hand man Arthur (Joseph Gordon-Levitt), an architect Ariadne (Ellen Page) and a forger Eames (Tom Hardy). However, Cobb’s past won’t let him go – or is it the other way? – and his dead wife, Mal, appears in his dreams, constantly wrecking his plans (or killing people).

I think it takes some getting used to while watching the film because you have to figure out whether you’re in someone’s dream or reality. Somehow, the dream within a dream concept is really brilliant even though it rarely happens in reality. Then you get to the physics of the matter and you wonder how they control everything in their dream. Though you would know that there are things, like a full bladder, which you can’t control. I’m very impressed with the layering of the dreams.

My favourite character has to be Eames the forger. Apparently, he can morph into another person’s identity. He’s one of the funniest on the team, like when he pulls out the grenade launcher against Arthur’s seemingly miserable run-of-the-mill machine gun. But my favourite scene has to be the hotel scene where Arthur fights without gravity because the van is falling. The sentence probably doesn’t make much sense unless you watch the movie. Man, I gotta say Joseph Gordon-Levitt looks good fighting anti-gravity!

Ellen Page also does well in the movie. She’s the one that really probes into Cobb’s troubled past and helps the audience along because she’s the newest member of the team. I thought she kinda broke out of her mould – playing troubled teens. It’s also amazing how the “kick”, a reflex action that most experience in the midst of their dreams and becomes so vital and excellently captured on film. Sigh, somehow I feel I don’t do the movie justice with my review – there’s more in my mind than I can form into words. Please watch it for yourself. 5 out of 5 stars.

SPOILER:

And I thought I would just add something which I found very useful:
(Source: Cinema Blend)

THE HOPELESS EMPTINESS

REVOLUTIONARY ROAD (2008)
– 3 and a half out of 5 stars

Set in the 1950s, Revolutionary Road is about a young couple, Frank and April Wheeler, who lives in the suburbs with their two children. On the surface, they seem like a perfect family – working husband, housewife, two kids and a nice house and everyone aspires to be like the Wheelers. Little did they know that both Frank and April are dissatisfied with their current state of life; Frank being stuck in the same occupation as his father and April striving to become a more polished stage actress.

On Frank’s thirtieth birthday, April suggests that they move to Paris for a new life and the life they thought they would have. But along the way, little mistakes and opportunities arises and the move to Paris is put to an abrupt halt. The local realtor, Mrs. Givings, visits them with her slightly mental son, John, who seems to understand the Wheelers’ point of view when told of their initial proposal to move to Paris. However, he berates them heavily when he learns that the trip is cancelled. What happens after the incident is a huge falling out and rude exchanges of words that really changed the balance between them forever.

Like the trailer mentioned, the movie is about “who we were and who we became along the way”. Isn’t it frightening that everything you thought you would be, wouldn’t be?

WHAT’S THE DIFFERENCE?

THE DEPARTED (2006)
– 4 out of 5 stars

OMG, I still remember how I didn’t manage to catch this movie once my ‘A’ Levels ended!

Two men from opposite sides of the law are undercover within the mob and the state police, and the state police’s aim is to bring down Frank Costello – the mob boss. However, it becomes clear that there’s a rat in their midst and both sides want to bring down the rats; the action starts from there. Every minute is really exciting and the moment comes when both rats come face to face.